The amplitudes of the most prominent component of auditory evoked magnetic fields and electrical potentials, the M100 and N100, recorded from the human scalp depend on the duration of the stimulus onset interval (SOI). Here, we show, using magnetoencephalography, that the SOI dependence of the M100 amplitude strongly depends upon whether stimuli with different SOIs are presented in a conventional block design or in a random manner. This differential dependence reveals that the M100 is affected not only by the stimulus evoking it and by its predecessor, but by a longer-term history of stimulation. We provide a parsimonious model that accounts for our findings with both designs in a quantitative manner. It assumes a transient, temporally asymmetric reduction in the excitability of a fraction of potentially excitable neurons. A rather stereotyped response function may therefore underlie the stimulation-history effects in the human auditory cortex.