The pathogenesis of Functional Dyspepsia (FD) remains unclear, appears diverse and is thus inadequately understood. Akin to other functional gastrointestinal disorders, research has demonstrated an association between this common diagnosis and psychosocial factors and psychiatric morbidity. Conceptualising the relevance of these factors within the syndrome of FD requires application of the biopsychosocial model of disease. Using this paradigm, dysregulation of the reciprocal communication between the brain and the gut is central to symptom generation, interpretation and exacerbation. Appreciation and understanding of the neurobiological correlates of various psychological states is also relevant. The view that psychosocial factors exert their influence in FD predominantly through motivation of health care seeking also persists. This appears too one-dimensional an assertion in light of the evidence available supporting a more intrinsic aetiological link. Evolving understanding of pathogenic mechanisms and the heterogeneous nature of the syndrome will facilitate effective management. Co-morbid psychiatric illness warrants treatment with conventional therapies. Acknowledging the relevance of psychosocial variables in FD, the degree of which is subject to variation, has implications for assessment and management. Available evidence suggests psychological therapies may benefit FD patients particularly those with chronic symptoms. The rationale for use of psychotropic medications in FD is apparent but the evidence base to support the use of antidepressant pharmacotherapy is to date limited. (C) 2006 The WJG Press. All rights reserved.