Posted on September 19, 2013
Robert A. Moss, Ph.D., ABN, ABPP, is a clinical psychologist who works with Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital in Greenville, SC. While teaching neuropsychology in 1984 he developed a theory that the cortical column is the binary unit (bit) involved in all cortical processing and memory storage. Based on this theory, the Clinical Biopsychological approach to therapy was developed and continued to guide his work while in full-time private practice for over 20 years. As of 2006 the neuroscience field provided sufficient evidence to make the brain model publishable in a refereed journal, with a detailed description of its application to psychotherapy being published this year. One aspect of treatment, Emotional Restructuring, is a single session approach to address influential relationship negative emotional memories. Bob is board certified in clinical psychology and neuropsychology and is a former associate professor in clinical psychology. He has authored 43 professional articles and has presented at a number of professional meetings.
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Online papers from Robert Moss:
Moss, R. A. (2006). Of bits and logic: Cortical columns in learning and memory. The Journal of Mind and Behavior, 27(3), 215-246.
Abstract: Despite the growing research and theoretical formulations tied to memory storage within the brain, the role of cortical columns has received relatively little attention. The current paper presents a theoretical formulation based on cortical columns as the binary units that contain all cortical information, and how memory and learning may occur based on the interaction patterns of columns. The described model is an extension of Lurian views, and suggests higher functions to result from the interaction of five systems. Specific mechanisms by which the thalamus and cortex interact to create long term memory formation are delineated. There is the suggestion of two distinct, but interactive, sensory cortical memory systems, one for factual/generic memories and the other for episodic/personal memories. Hemispheric lateralization of function is explained on the basis of speed and quantity of columnar activation. Conclusions focus on recent technological advances that may allow cortical models to be testable in the near future.
Moss, R. A. (2007). Negative emotional memories in clinical treatment: Theoretical considerations. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 17(2), 209-224.
Abstract:The pursuit of empirically supported therapies has resulted in controversy and further division between practicing and academic clinicians. The current paper provides an overview of a clinical biopsychological model that may serve to guide assessment and treatment of many psychological problems, with a selective review of the literature supporting the model. One particular area, negative emotional memories, is discussed in theoretical and practical terms as related to the development of clients' psychological problems and how certain therapists' behaviors can positively and negatively affect clients. Next, the theorized effects of psychological treatments on negative memories are discussed. The paper concludes with a call for efforts to pursue a neuropsychological model of treatment based on hypothesized causal factors.
Moss, R. A. (2010). Clinical biopsychology: Could a grand theory actually exist to allow true psychotherapy integration? Independent Practitioner, 30, 67-71.
Moss, R. A. (2013). Neuropsychological Evaluation in an Adolescent with Cerebellar Hypoplasia Diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Neurocase, 19, 85-89. doi: 10.1080/13554794.2011.654220
Abstract: There is a growing body of literature describing cases of cognitive impairment associated with both acquired and developmental damage to the cerebellum. The current case study describes such a case involving a 17-year-old male with cerebellar hypoplasia, having incomplete formation of the vermis and atrophy of the interior cerebellar hemispheres. He had previously been diagnosed as having Asperger’s Syndrome. A full neuropsychological evaluation was performed, including effort testing. This is followed by a comparison of the current results to previously reported cases, with a discussion of the heterogeneity of deficits associated with developmental cerebellum malformation.
Moss, R. A., Hunter, B. P., Shah, D., & Havens, T. (2012). A theory of hemispheric specialization based on cortical columns. Journal of Mind and Behavior, 33, 141-172.
Abstract: Hemispheric function specialization and associated neuroanatomical characteristics have been a topic of interest for many years. In this regard, mechanisms of cortical processing and memory storage have proven elusive. The current paper proposes that a model of cortical processing based on the column has the potential for explaining laterality of function and memory. Memory formation is defined as the strengthening of synaptic connections in any given circuit of cortical columns, while forgetting is defined as weakened synaptic connections with failure to activate downstream columns in any given circuit. Following a discussion of the cortical column, it is suggested that speed and quantity of columnar activation can explain laterality findings. However, several additional aspects of columnar interaction patterns must be considered to explain the regional differences within each of the hemispheres. The paper concludes with a discussion of current approaches that offer a means to test the model’s validity.
Moss, R. A. (2013). Psychotherapy and the brain: The dimensional systems model and clinical biopsychology. Journal of Mind and Behavior, 34, 63-90.
Abstract: The dimensional systems model explains cortical processing on the basis of cortical column interactions, leading to a clinical biopsychological model which involves brain-based psychotherapy integration. The current paper provides a detailed explanation of the interface between these models in relation to psychological treatment. A specific discussion of certain psychotherapy treatment approaches is provided with suggestions on what cortical areas are being impacted. In reference to negative emotional memories there are specific, theoretically-based suggestions on how to most effectively neutralize the continuing impact on a client’s current psychological functioning. Loss-related depression is explained on the basis of opponent-process theory as related to the brain model. It is hoped that this paper can generate interest among neuroscientists and clinicians to fully evaluating the value of these theoretical models.