The science of compassion, touch, and communication of emotions through touch
This TEDx talk is by a scientist called Dacher Keltner, who founded the Greater Good Science Centre at UC Berkeley, where they carry out psychological and neuroscientific research into positive emotions (amongst other things).
This is his TED talk from 2010, where he describes a potential evolutionary basis for, and advantage of, compassion, how touch affects the body and brain, how emotions can be communicated through touch, and differing levels of compassion from country to country.
In it he provides some pretty interesting observations about gender differences and societal differences in this topic.
This is the YouTube description of this talk:
Dacher Keltner is a psychology professor at UC Berkeley whose research focuses on two time-honored questions. First is the biological and evolutionary origins of human emotion, with a special concentration on compassion, awe, love, and beauty, and how emotions shape all kinds of judgments. Second is the study of power, status and social class, and the nature of moral intuitions. Dacher is the co-author of two best selling textbooks, one on human emotion, the other on social psychology, as well as Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life, published in January 2009 by WW Norton Publishers, and The Compassionate Instinct, to be published by WW Norton in 2010.