Cognitive Neuroscience


Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews




Formal publication: December 2023

Authors: Ibanez, A. and Northoff, G.

Abstract: 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.