Toure didn't show the required fight in City's 4-2 defeat to Manchester United at the weekend and Neville thinks Barton, who was excellent in the R's 1-0 loss to Chelsea, is the perfect example of a player he should look to emulate.
Although the BBC Sport pundit concedes that Barton doesn't have as much quality as Toure, he believes that the Ivorian could learn a lot from his attitude and desire when on the pitch.
"Sometimes in games things don't go your way and you've got to roll your sleeves up and take the fight to the opposition," he said.
"To be fair to Joey Barton today every bouncing ball, every time the ball went forward he was the first one to it and his team followed him. That's something that Yaya Toure needs to do for City."
Is Neville correct - does Toure need to learn from Barton?
Barton's spirit and commitment has been a major reason behind QPR's resurgence over recent weeks, but comparing Toure is slightly unfair.
Toure's languid style has been focused upon this season, but it is hardly a new phenomenon and he seems to be being singled out for criticism due to City's poor form.
The former Barcelona midfielder has never been the most reliable defensively and has always shown his better form in the Premier League when allowed to get forward without restriction.
It means that comparing him to Barton, who is a different type of player entirely, may be slightly harsh, but it is true that Toure needs to up his work-rate in the coming weeks.