Intrinsic timescales and predictive allostatic interoception in brain health and disease

Agustin Ibanez, Georg Northoff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The cognitive neuroscience of brain diseases faces challenges in understanding the complex relationship between brain structure and function, the heterogeneity of brain phenotypes, and the lack of dimensional and transnosological explanations. This perspective offers a framework combining the predictive coding theory of allostatic interoceptive overload (PAIO) and the intrinsic neural timescales (INT) theory to provide a more dynamic understanding of brain health in psychiatry and neurology. PAIO integrates allostasis and interoception to assess the interaction between internal patterns and environmental stressors, while INT shows that different brain regions operate on different intrinsic timescales. The allostatic overload can be understood as a failure of INT, which involves a breakdown of proper temporal integration and segregation. This can lead to dimensional disbalances between exteroceptive/interoceptive inputs across brain and whole-body levels (cardiometabolic, cardiovascular, inflammatory, immune). This approach offers new insights, presenting novel perspectives on brain spatiotemporal hierarchies and interactions. By integrating these theories, the paper opens innovative paths for studying brain health dynamics, which can inform future research in brain health and disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105510
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
StatePublished - Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Allostatic interoception
  • Brain dynamics
  • Brain health
  • Cognitive neuroscience
  • Intrinsic neural timescales
  • Neurology
  • Predictive coding theory
  • Psychiatry
  • Spatiotemporal hierarchies
  • Transnosological explanations


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