Haptics, or touch, is the most primitive form of communication, with its main functions being play, control and intimacy. But being one of the most emotional types (just think about kissing and cuddling, or the distaste you feel when your hand accidentally brushes a stranger’s), also means a lot of variation across cultures. The handshake, for example, dates back as far as the fifth century and is, in most places, a polite and respectful greeting. A firm handshake is the norm for conveying confidence and commitment in the West, while too firm a handshake in the Middle East is considered rude and intimidating. Looking at touch from an evolutionary standpoint, most academics agree that tactile communication in life’s early stages establishes an attachment bond between infant and caregiver that if missing, can have detrimental effects on the child. Even in adulthood, withholding touch is often perceived negatively and imply annoyance or dislike. Of course, as with all non-verbal communication, individual differences play a huge part.