Dr Ross  Balchin Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Dr Ross Balchin

Division of Neurosurgery, University of Cape Town

I am a clinical neuropsychologist and researcher in neuroscience from Cape Town, South Africa. I am based in the Division of Neurosurgery at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, home of the world's first human heart transplant.


I am a clinical neuropsychologist and a Clinical Research Fellow for the University of Cambridge's NIHR Global Health Research Group on Neurotrauma. I am based in the Division of Neurosurgery at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, and am a member of the UCT Neuroscience Institute. I am also a Program Director at the Neuropsychoanalysis Foundation in New York where, amongst other things, I play a central role in developing a web- and video-based interdisciplinary platform for educational programming in neuroscience. I have formerly held both the National Research Foundation (NRF) NPPD and the Claude Leon Foundation postdoctoral fellowships.

I am currently the Chairman of the Board of The Brain Injury Trust, a non-profit organization which is involved in the prevention of brain injury and which supports patients and their families from the acute stage of brain injury and on through the recovery process. I also play an active role in the provision of community-based infrastructure for brain-injury patients and their families. I regularly present on various brain-injury related topics at community-based workshops, and am a cofounder of a successful support group for patients and their families and carers, which I also help to run.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    The neurocognitive, neurobehavioural and psychological consequences of acquired brain injury,  
    especially traumatic brain injury (TBI) and stroke.

    The provision of community-based rehabilitation, support and infrastructure for survivors of brain  
    injury (especially TBI and stroke) and their families/caregivers.

    The effects of radiosurgery on neurocognitive functioning and patient outcomes.

    The mechanisms that underpin depression, along with investigating possible treatments.

    Cross-cultural neuropsychology, and developing culturally fair and appropriate clinical assessment  
    techniques and materials, along with the provision of multilingual assessment.

    Neurocognitive assessment.


Featured Title
 Featured Title - Brain Injury in Under-Resourced Settings - 1st Edition book cover



Reflections on 20 Years of Neuropsychoanalysis: New perspectives and new resources

Published: Jan 11, 2019 by Neuropsychoanalysis
Authors: Balchin, R.

An article that highlights new perspectives and new resources 20 years after the field of Neuropsychoanalysis began.


The Role of the Basolateral Amygdala in Dreaming. Cortex, 113, 169-183.

Published: Jan 04, 2019 by Cortex
Authors: Blake, Y., Terburg, D., Balchin, R., van Honk, J., & Solms, M.

Neuroimaging studies have repeatedly shown amygdala activity during sleep (REM and NREM). Consequently, various theorists propose central roles for the amygdala in dreaming – particularly in the generation of dream affects, which seem to play a major role in dream plots. However, a causal role for the amygdala in dream phenomena has never been demonstrated.

Panamerican Journal of Neuropsychology

I am who I am through who we are: The potential role of ubuntu in neurorehabilitation

Published: Jan 05, 2018 by Panamerican Journal of Neuropsychology
Authors: Coetzer, R., Yeates, G., Balchin, R., & Schmidt, K.

This paper explores the African concept of ubuntu, and its potential to influence our thinking about the delivery of long-term health and social care within a neurorehabilitation context. Particular consideration is given to the potential importance of achieving longer-term social connectedness for clients and their relatives after neuro-rehabilitation interventions have finished.

SA Journal of Oncology, 1, a19

Hypofractionated image-guided radiotherapy for the treatment of acoustic neuromas: A dosimetrically acceptable alternative to stereotactic radiosurgery in a resource-constrained environment.

Published: Jun 01, 2017 by SA Journal of Oncology, 1, a19
Authors: Burger, H., Mac Gregor, H., Balchin, R., & Parkes, J.D.

Treatment options for acoustic neuromas (ANs) are limited in low- and middle-income countries. The aim of this study was to investigate whether hypofractionated image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) is a clinically acceptable treatment option for departments where no other radiosurgery options are available.

World Neurosurgery, 97, 156–168.

Improving traumatic brain injury outcomes: The development of an evaluation and referral tool at Groote Schuur Hospital.

Published: Jan 01, 2017 by World Neurosurgery, 97, 156–168.
Authors: Andrew, S., Rothemeyer, S., & Balchin, R.

The Western Cape Province of South Africa has a great shortage of diagnostic expertise, rehabilitative infrastructure, and support services for patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). The neurosurgical outpatient setting is busy and often chaotic, and patients are frequently lost to follow-up. This study sought to continue with the design and development of a comprehensive, yet brief tool to aid patient referrals and ensure that no consequence of TBI is left unidentified and unaddressed.

Journal of Affective Disorders, 200, 218–221.

Sweating away depression? The impact of intensive exercise on depression.

Published: Aug 01, 2016 by Journal of Affective Disorders, 200, 218–221.
Authors: Balchin, R., Linde, J., Blackhurst, D., Rauch, H.G.L., & Schönbächler, G.

Moderate- and high-intensity exercise improved depression levels, while very-low intensity exercise did not have as beneficial an effect. β-endorphin results were inconclusive. Participants showed a slight decrease in PANIC and FEAR, and increased SEEKING.

South African Medical Journal, 105, 195-198.

Traumatic brain injury, the hidden pandemic: A focused response to family and patient experiences and needs.

Published: Jan 26, 2015 by South African Medical Journal, 105, 195-198.
Authors: Webster, J., Taylor, A., & Balchin, R.

The experiences of TBI survivors and their family members served to inform the development of simple, integrated coping strategies, namely two S-Plan tools, one for survivors and their families/caregivers and the other for care workers, in conjunction with counselling and support group processes. The S-Plan constitutes a discharge resource to inform patients and carers and provide practical solutions for the problems they face in caring for family members who have suffered TBI.

Journal of Radiosurgery and SBRT, 3, 1-11.

Evaluation of the potential of inducing neurocognitive changes in patients receiving intracranial stereotactic irradiation for benign tumors: a preliminary study.

Published: Apr 01, 2014 by Journal of Radiosurgery and SBRT, 3, 1-11.
Authors: Burger, H., Vernimmen, F. J. A. I., Dugmore, D., Parkes, J. D., & Balchin, R.M.

This prospective pilot study investigated whether intracranial stereotactic irradiation induces cognitive changes in patients with cranial and base of skull lesions that did not directly involve the brain parenchyma. The value of a software-based psychometric approach to neurocognitive testing was also examined.

South African Journal of Psychology, 40, 250-261.

Adaptation of aphasia tests for neurocognitive screening in South Africa.

Published: Sep 01, 2010 by South African Journal of Psychology, 40, 250-261.
Authors: Mosdell, J., Balchin, R., & Ameen, O.

Two aphasia tests — the Cookie Theft Test and the Boston Naming Test — were adapted to help eliminate western cultural, language and education bias in neurocognitive screening in South Africa.


Prestigious book award for neuropsychologist

By: Dr Ross Balchin

Dr Ross Balchin, a clinical neuropsychologist based at Groote Schuur Hospital and guest lecturer in the Department of Psychology, has won the prestigious British Psychological Society (BPS) Book Award. Working with Brain Injury: A primer for psychologists working in under-resourced settingsscooped the Practitioner Text category.