There is a review article by Crick and Koch on attention and consciousness:
Crick, F., and Koch, K. (1990). Towards a neurobiological theory of
consciousness. Seminars in the neurosciencs. vol.2., pp. 263-275.
The merits of the paper is that it has a lot of speculations.
By the way, some time ago there was some research indicating that the
hippocampus was also implicated in attention and arousal (in addition
to, or related to, its possible role in Long Term Memory), could someone
refresh on this point?