This study examined the N100 component of the event related potential in a habituation paradigm with shorrt interstimulus intervals. The paradigm was designed to be relatively brief in duration (approx. 4 min for each of two conditions), so that it could be used for clinical populations with cognitive dysfunction, in which compliance may be a problem with long paradigms. Two conditions - Ignore and Attend - were employed with normal subjects. In each condition, 15 stimulus trains, each consisting of 10 innocuous tones, were presented. The eighth tone was a change stimulus. There was a fixed interstimulus interval of 1.1 s and an inter-train interval of 5 s. From the perspective of traditional Orienting Response theory, evidence was sought for within-train habituation in terms of diminished N100 amplitude to repeated stimuli, response recovery to the change stimulus, and dishabituation of the response to the following standard stimuli. Habituation was suggested by significant decreases of approx. 50% with stimulus repetition, and response recovery to the change stimulus in both conditions. However, there was no evidence of dishabituation following the change stimulus. These results confirm that N100 fails to meet the formal requirements of response habituation, suggesting instead that it may index an earlier process than the Orienting Response. © 1992.