Loretta Breuning

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Loretta Breuning
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BornLoretta Graziano Breuning
(1953-07-30) July 30, 1953 (age 70)
Brooklyn, New York, New York (state)
OccupationAuthor, Professor Emerita
EducationCornell University (Bachelor of Science), Tufts (PhD)
GenrePsychology, Neuroscience, Self-help

Loretta Breuning (born October 30, 1953) is an American professor emerita and author.

She is the author of "Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain your brain to boost your serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphin levels". Breuning’s work takes an evolutionary perspective on dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, endorphin, and cortisol, and how they are stimulated in animals.[1]. She’s founder of the Inner Mammal Institute[2] and Professor Emerita of Management at California State University, East Bay.


Breuning taught international management in the MBA and undergraduate business schools at California State University, East Bay, from 1984 until 2006. Before teaching, she worked for United Nations Volunteers in Central African Republic and Burkina Faso. After teaching, she was a docent at the Oakland Zoo.

She took early retirement to undertake deeper study of human motivation, and began writing books about that. Loretta currently produces free resources to teach the Inner Mammal Method, a technique she developed for rewiring emotions based on an evolutionary view of Brain chemistry.

Breuning's work and comments have been featured in American and international media.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9]


Breuning holds a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, 1975. Her PhD is from the The Fletcher School at Tufts University|Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, 1983.


Her work is influenced by researchers in primatology, neurobiology, and sociobiology, such as Frans de Waal|Franz deWaal, E. O. Wilson|EO Wilson, Robert Sapolsky, Steven Pinker, Richard Wrangham, Joseph E. LeDoux|Joseph Ledoux, Michael T. McGuire, Robert Ardrey, and Robert Trivers. Dr. Breuning cites the influence of David Attenborough’s early documentaries.

Personal Life

Breuning resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband William Sharp, a retired plasma physicist at Lawrence Berkeley Lab. She has two children and two grandchildren. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in Oceanside, NY.


  1. Breuning, Loretta (2018). "Stimulating Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin and Endorphin by Learning How They're Stimulated in Animals". Academia Edu, Journal Medical.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. "Inner Mammal Institute".
  3. "Be happier with these 7 healthy habits". FOX NEWS. April 2019.
  4. "Why You Feel Undervalued And How To Dissolve The Feeling". Forbes. July 2017.
  5. "How To Rewire Your Panic Button And Go From Negative To Positivty". Forbes. May 2020.
  6. "You Asked: Is It Bad for You to Read the News Constantly?". Time. May 2020.
  7. "Succeed in the Online Dating World". WPR. July 2014.
  8. "This is your brain on prayer and meditation". NBC News. Oct 2017.
  9. "El "cuarteto de la felicidad": cómo desatar los efectos positivos de la endorfina, serotonina, dopamina y oxitocina" (in Spanish). BBC. Mar 2017.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)

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