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Pre-Programmed by Ancestors or Experiences? The Truth About Your Brain’s Wiring w/Dr. Loretta Bruening

All human beings have an animal brain inside us, and those brains get wired by our experiences – good or bad.

We’re pre-programmed by how we’re wired in childhood and puberty, and it can be really difficult to rewire them – whether we’re trying to learn new habits or integrate past trauma.

How do we retrain our brains the right way? Is the pursuit of constant joy a recipe for misery?

In this episode, founder of the Inner Mammal Institute, Dr. Loretta Bruening shares how the brain works and how we can change the way we think and behave by tapping into our inner mammal.

Your neurons are not connected when you’re born, they connect from experience. -Dr. Loretta Bruening

Three Things We Learned 

  1. You’re not designed to always be in a state of pure joy
    Are human beings creating more misery by having unrealistic expectations about our emotions?
  2. How to learn a new language as an adult
    Can we learn something from dog trainers?
  3. The truth about our deeply-rooted behaviors
    Are we pre-programmed with the survival instincts of your ancestors?


Guest Bio

Loretta G. Breuning, PhD, is the founder of the Inner Mammal Institute and Professor Emerita of Management at California State University, East Bay.

She is the author of many personal development books, including Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin and Endorphin Levels.

As a teacher and a parent, she was not convinced by prevailing theories of human motivation.

Then she learned about the brain chemistry we share with earlier mammals and everything made sense.

She began creating resources that have helped thousands of people make peace with their inner mammal.

Dr. Breuning’s work has been translated into twelve languages and is cited in major media.

Before teaching, she worked for the United Nations in Africa. Loretta gives zoo tours on animal behavior, after serving as a Docent at the Oakland Zoo.

She is a graduate of Cornell University and Tufts. The Inner Mammal Institute offers videos, podcasts, books, blogs, multimedia, a training program, and a free five-day happy-chemical jumpstart. For more information, head to

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