Abstract Evoked (EPs) as well as event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from two groups of 10 healthy, voluntary subjects in auditory and visual modalities. For ERP recordings ‘the omitted stimulus paradigm’ was employed, in which the subjects were expected to mark mentally the onset time (time prediction task) of the omitted stimulus (target). The standard auditory (AEP) and visual (VEP) evoked potentials and auditory and visual ERPs to the preceding stimuli of the omitted ones were analyzed in time and frequency domains. In the time domain the time prediction task induced increases of the amplitudes of waves existing in standard EPs; however, an additional wave or component could not be detected. Analysis of amplitude frequency characteristics (AFCs) revealed, however, selective, significant increases of the theta (3–6 Hz) frequency components of the responses concerned. These theta increases were especially evident in the frontal and parietal recording sites. Our findings suggest an association between the theta frequency components of transient evoked responses, the association areas of the brain and cognitive performance. The neurophysiological basis of scalp recorded ERPs are discussed in relation to the findings of animal studies with EEG and single unit recordings from cortical and subcortical structures.