Some species (Cardassians, apparently Ferengi, etc.), are immune to the Vulcan mind meld, but they'd fall unconscious if Spock did a nerve pinch on them.

Are any humanoid species immune to both the mind meld and the nerve pinch? I want to guess Excalbians, but I don't think they're considered humanoid. Maybe Breen?

  • 1
    Hutts and Toydarians I am pretty sure. ;)
    – Lexible
    Commented Sep 19, 2014 at 6:01
  • I've always assumed the effect of the Vulcan nerve pinch was at least partly telepathic. If so, I imagine Ferenghi would be resistant.
    – Joe L.
    Commented Sep 19, 2014 at 13:11
  • @JoeL. It's not. Data and Picard both mastered it and were seen onscreen using it. The only prerequisite is physical strength
    – Izkata
    Commented Sep 19, 2014 at 23:55

1 Answer 1


Well, Memory Alpha says that non-Vulcans have used the neck pinch with varying degrees of effectiveness. While it may traditionally be at least partially psychic in nature, several non-telepathic people/races have been shown to successfully use the Vulcan nerve pinch (Picard, Odo, Seven of Nine off the top of my head). In the Voyager episode Cathexis (Season 1, Epidode 13), after Kes has been attacked by Tuvok's Vulcan neck pinch the Doctor claims that Kes has had nerves in her trapezius bundle ruptured. That would lead me to believe that the neck pinch is used to disrupt blood flow to the brain much like a choke hold would. The problem with that comparison is that a choke hold takes several seconds to render someone unconscious, while the nerve pinch is almost instant. Perhaps using a large amount of force and applying it quickly and precisely, Vulcans (among others) can disrupt blood flow enough and create a drastic pressure difference in the brain that can instantly knock the victim out.

That being said, since we don't know exactly how the Vulcan Nerve Pinch works, we can't exactly determine who/what would be immune. While immunity to the mind meld would imply either a resistance/immunity to telepathic abilities or strong enough telepathic abilities to block/disrupt it; immunity to the nerve pinch could require resistance/immunity to telepathic abilities, or it may require having a physiology that can either compensate for an extremely quick change in pressure within the brain, or a way of regulating that pressure that is quite different than our own, i.e. having arteries that transport blood/blood analogous material run along the spine as opposed to them running along the neck, having these arteries be extremely rigid or armored, etc.

Memory Alpha page on Vulcan Nerve Pinch:

Memory Alpha page on Cathexis:

  • Good answer. Have any humanoid species ever been shown to resist a nerve pinch?
    – user30592
    Commented Sep 19, 2014 at 16:27
  • Gary Seven is a human who was immune. Though we don't know exactly why, we do know he was extremely and had a flawless body structure.
    – Ozymandias
    Commented Sep 19, 2014 at 16:32
  • Memory Alpha link for info on Gary Seven: en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Gary_Seven It doesn't appear to work on androids as per the TOS episode I, Mudd. en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/I,_Mudd_(episode) Vians (from TOS episode The Empath) were apparently immune to the nerve pinch. en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Vian Other wise, Memory Alpha makes no other mentions of the Vulcan nerve pinch not subduing an opponent when properly used by a Vulcan.
    – Ozymandias
    Commented Sep 19, 2014 at 16:40

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