Is attention necessary for consciousness?
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This thesis explores the relationship between consciousness and attention construed in phenomenological, psychological and neural terms in order to conclude whether attention is necessary for consciousness. I introduce the concept of consciousness, try to adapt it to a mechanistic framework that allows its scientific analysis, and present various strands of sientific data on both attention and consciousness in the context of several theories. These are the attended intermediate-level representation theory, the global neuronal workspace theory and the local recurrent process theory. The debate about attentions' necessity or lack of necessity for consciousness is combined in a similar conceptual distinction between two kinds of consciousness; access consciousness and phenomenal consciousness. After a discussion including the relevance of subjective reports, role of attention, function of consciousness and positioning on the existence of qualia, I conclude that at the present moment, spatial attention and bottom-up attention seem necessary for conscious experience. It is possible that top-down selective attention can be wholly disspciated, both conceptually and in neural terms. Finally, it may be possible that we have not yet scientifically distinguished all the different types of attention that may be.