The limited capacity of neural processing restricts the number of objects and locations that can be attended to. Selected events are readily enhanced: the bright side of attention. However, such focal processing comes at a cost, namely, functional blindness for unattended events: the dark side of visual attention. Recent work has advanced our understanding of the neural mechanisms that facilitate visual processing, as well as the neural correlates of unattended, unconscious visual events. Also, new results have revealed how attentional deployment is optimized by non-visual factors such as behavioral set, past experience, and emotional salience.