The blind mole rat Spalax ehrenbergi is a subterranean rodent that shows striking behavioral, structural, and physiological adaptations to fossorial life including highly degenerated eyes and optic nerves and a behavioral audiogram that indicates high specialization for low-frequency hearing. A 2-deoxyglucose functional mapping of acoustically activated structures, in conjunction with Nissl/Klüver-Barrera-stained material, revealed a typical mammalian auditory pathway with some indications for specialized low-frequency hearing such as a poorly differentiated lateral nucleus and a well-developed medial nucleus in the superior olive complex. The most striking finding was a marked 2-deoxyglucose labeling of the dorsal lateral geniculate body and of cortical regions that correspond to visual areas in sighted rodents. The results render the blind mole rat a good model system for studying natural neural plasticity and intermodal compensation. In this report, we confine ourselves to the subcortical levels. The cortical level will be dealt comprehensively in a following paper.