Though it is widely agreed that attention and consciousness are distinct phenomena with functionally and anatomically distinct, underlying neural substrates (Crick & Koch, 2003; Kentridge et al. 2004; Koch and Tsuchiya, 2007), there is less consensus about what the functional role of attention is and how it relates to consciousness. Here we argue that two main functions of visual attention are to enhance the precision of visual representations and to modulate the informational input to the visual system, leading to visual representations with a greater chance of tracking properties in the external world.
Kentridge, R., & Brogaard, B. (2016). The Functional Roles of Attention. In B. Nanay (Ed.), Current controversies in philosophy of perception (139-147). Routledge