Mechanisms of plasticity have traditionally been ascribed to higher-order sensory processing areas such as the cortex, whereas early sensory processing centers have been considered largely hard-wired. In agreement with this view, the auditory brainstem has been viewed as a nonplastic site, important for preserving temporal information and minimizing transmission delays. However, recent groundbreaking results from animal models and human studies have revealed remarkable evidence for cellular and behavioral mechanisms for learning and memory in the auditory brainstem.