Article: The Amsterdam Resting-State Questionnaire reveals multiple phenotypes of resting-state cognition

Resting-state neuroimaging is a dominant paradigm for studying brain function in health and disease. It is attractive for clinical research because of its simplicity for patients, straightforward standardization, and sensitivity to brain disorders. Importantly, non-sensory experiences like mind wandering may arise from ongoing brain activity. However, little is known about the link between ongoing brain activity and cognition, as phenotypes of resting-state cognition—and tools to quantify them—have been lacking. To facilitate rapid and structured measurements of resting-state cognition we developed a 50-item self-report survey, the Amsterdam Resting-State Questionnaire (ARSQ). Based on ARSQ data from 813 participants assessed after five minutes eyes-closed rest in their home, we identified seven dimensions of resting-state cognition using factor analysis: Discontinuity of Mind, Theory of Mind, Self, Planning, Sleepiness, Comfort, and Somatic Awareness. Further, we showed that the structure of cognition was similar during resting-state fMRI and EEG, and that the test-retest correlations were remarkably high for all dimensions. To explore whether inter-individual variation of resting-state cognition is related to health status, we correlated ARSQ-derived factor scores with psychometric scales measuring depression, anxiety, and sleep quality. Mental health correlated positively with Comfort and negatively with Discontinuity of Mind. Finally, we show that sleepiness may partially explain a resting-state EEG profile previously associated with Alzheimer’s disease. These findings indicate that the ARSQ readily provides information about cognitive phenotypes and that it is a promising tool for research on the neural correlates of resting-state cognition in health and disease.