MAN-FLU exists, according to a new book released by a leading Teesside academic.

Dr Amanda Ellison, from Middlesbrough, claims that the man-flu phenomenon is down to a greater number of temperature receptors in the male brain causing men to feel the effects of the flu more than women.

In ‘Getting Your Head Around the Brain’, Dr Ellison – a senior psychology lecturer and neuroscientist at Durham University – also explains how hangovers are caused, how children learn to recognise their parents through their hairline and how it is possible to walk down the street and think about lunch at the same time.

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She said: “I have always been interested in taking things apart to see how they work. When my mam and dad were out as a kid, I used to take the TV to bits to see what was inside and try and put it back together again. I’m still doing that, but now I do it with brains.

“This book explains our behaviour and how the brain creates that behaviour. I want to engage people with how brilliant their brain is and I am trying to tell people this is really cool and not hard to understand. It is not like rocket science.”

Through researching how the brain is mapped and how different areas interact, Dr Ellison believes it may be possible to help the brain damaged and others by teaching them how to engage other areas of the brain to help them cope better with day-to-day life.

She said: “It is about taking a broken brain and doing things differently to teach it how to recruit the bits that are not broken and engage areas that are not damaged.”

Getting Your Head Around the Brain is available to order from all major book shops and online at palgrave.com/psychology/ellison/.