Sokolov’s classic works discussed electroencephalogram (EEG) alpha desynchronization as a measure of the Orienting Reflex (OR). Early studies confirmed that this reduced with repeated auditory stimulation, but without reliable stimulussignificance effects. We presented an auditory habituation series with counterbalanced indifferent and significant (counting) instructions. Time–frequency analysis of electrooculogram (EOG)-corrected EEG was used to explore
prestimulus levels and the timing and amplitude of event-related increases and decreases in 4 classic EEG bands. Decrement over trials and response recovery were substantial for the transient increase (in delta, theta, and alpha) and subsequent desynchronization (in theta, alpha, and beta). There was little evidence of dishabituation and few effects of counting. Expected effects in stimulus-induced alpha desynchronization were confirmed. Two EEG response patterns over trials and conditions, distinct from the full OR pattern, warrant further research.