Cognitive neuroscience has made great strides in understanding the neural substrates of attention, but our understanding of its neuropharmacology remains incomplete. Although dopamine has historically been studied in relation to frontal functioning, emerging evidence suggests important dopaminergic influences in parietal cortex. We recorded single- and multi-unit activity whilst iontophoretically administering dopaminergic agonists and antagonists while rhesus macaques performed a spatial attention task. Out of 88 units, 50 revealed activity modulation by drug administration. Dopamine inhibited firing rates according to an inverted-U shaped dose–response curve and increased gain variability. D1 receptor antagonists diminished firing rates according to a monotonic function and interacted with attention modulating gain variability. Finally, both drugs decreased the pupil light reflex. These data show that dopamine shapes neuronal responses and modulates aspects of attentional processing in parietal cortex.