Movement Vigor as a Reflection of Subjective Economic Utility

Reza Shadmehr, Thomas R. Reppert, Erik M. Summerside, Tehrim Yoon, Alaa A. Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


To understand subjective evaluation of an option, various disciplines have quantified the interaction between reward and effort during decision making, producing an estimate of economic utility, namely the subjective ‘goodness’ of an option. However, variables that affect utility of an option also influence the vigor of movements toward that option. For example, expectation of reward increases speed of saccadic eye movements, whereas expectation of effort decreases this speed. These results imply that vigor may serve as a new, real-time metric with which to quantify subjective utility, and that the control of movements may be an implicit reflection of the brain's economic evaluation of the expected outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTrends in Neurosciences
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019



  • aging
  • basal ganglia
  • effort
  • motor control
  • movement speed
  • Parkinson's disease
  • reaction time
  • reward
  • vigor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this