A most sensitive and specific electrophysiological indicator of selective processing of visual stimuli is the N2pc component. N2pc is a negative EEG potential peaking 250 ms after stimulus onset, recorded from posterior sites contralateral to relevant stimuli. Additional deflections preceding or following N2pc have been obtained in previous studies, possibly produced by specific stimulus features or specific prime-target sequences. To clarify the entire time-course of the contralateral-ipsilateral (C-I) difference recorded from the scalp above visual cortex in response to left-right pairs of targets and distracters, C-I differences were here compared between two types of stimuli and between stimuli that were or were not preceded by masked neutral primes. The C-I difference waveform consisted of several peaks, termed here P1pc (60-100 ms after target onset), N1pc (120-160 ms), N2pc (220-280 ms), and N3pc (360-400 ms). Being markedly enhanced when stimuli were preceded by the neutral primes, P1pc may indicate a response to stimulus change. Also, when stimuli were primed, N2pc reached its peak earlier, thereby tending to merge with N1pc. N3pc seemed to increase when target discrimination was difficult. N1pc, N2pc, and N3pc appear as three periods of one process. N3pc probably corresponds to L400 or SPCN as described in other studies. These observations suggest that the neurophysiological basis of stimulus-driven focusing of attention on target stimuli is a process that lasts for hundreds of milliseconds, with the relevant hemisphere being activated in an oscillating manner as long as required by the task.