The neurogenetics and evolution of food-related behaviour

Trends Neurosci. 2005 Dec;28(12):644-52. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2005.09.006. Epub 2005 Oct 3.


All organisms must acquire nutrients from the ambient environment to survive. In animals, the need to eat has driven the evolution of a rich array of complex food-related behaviours that ensure appropriate nutrient intake in diverse niches. Here, we review some of the neural and genetic components that contribute to the regulation of food-related behaviour in invertebrates, with emphasis on mechanisms that are conserved throughout various taxa and activities. We focus on synthesizing neurobiological and genetic approaches into a neurogenetic framework that explains food-related behaviour as the product of interactions between neural substrates, genes and internal and external environments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / genetics
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Cyclic GMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / genetics*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Genetics / trends
  • Humans
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Neurobiology / trends
  • Neuronal Plasticity / genetics*
  • Species Specificity


  • Cyclic GMP-Dependent Protein Kinases