Attention speeds up information processing. Although this finding has a long history in experimental psychology, it has found less regard in computational models of visual attention. In psychological research, two frameworks explain the function of attention.
Selection for perception
emphasizes that perception- or consciousness-related processing presupposes selection of relevant information, whereas
selection for action
emphasizes that action constraints make selection necessary. In the present study, we ask whether or how far attention, as measured by the speed-up of information processing, is based on selection for perception or selection for action. The accelerating effect was primarily based on selection for perception, but there was also a substantial effect of selection for action.