The attentional selection of different hierarchical level within compound (Navon) figures has been studied with event related potentials (ERPs), by controlling the ERPs obtained during attention to the global or the local echelon. These studies, using the canonical Navon figures, have produced contradictory results, with doubts regarding the scalp distribution of the effects. Moreover, the evidence about the temporal evolution of the processing of these two levels is not clear. Here, we unveiled global and local letters at distinct times, which enabled separation of their ERP responses. We combine this approach with the temporal generalization methodology, a novel multivariate technique which facilitates exploring the temporal structure of these ERPs. Opposite lateralization patterns were obtained for the selection negativities generated when attending global and local distracters (D statistics, p < .005), with maxima in right and left occipito-temporal scalp regions, respectively (η2 = .111, p < .01; η2 = .042, p < .04). However, both discrimination negativities elicited when comparing targets and distractors at the global or the local level were lateralized to the left hemisphere (η2 = .25, p < .03 and η2 = .142, p < .05 respectively). Recurrent activation patterns were found for both global and local stimuli, with scalp topographies corresponding to early preparatory stages reemerging during the attentional selection process, thus indicating recursive attentional activation. This implies that selective attention to global and local hierarchical levels recycles similar neural correlates at different time points. These neural correlates appear to be mediated by visual extra-striate areas.