A stable relation between words and referent objects or events underlies human language. One of the most fundamental questions is how brain processes new words in order to form new lexical items. The answer to such questions will bring significant breakthrough in multiple fields, ranging from methods of language teaching and speech correction programs for children with late development to clinical rehabilitation of patients with speech impairments and neurophysiological functional tests of language network. This review presents the current state of Russian and foreign studies dedicated to new words learning in auditory modality. We tried to consider all varieties of techniques and paradigms in the field. Equal attention is paid both to studies of the phonological processing of a word (recognition of a phonetic pattern), and to works which consider the ways in which word acquire semantics. We discuss experiments carried out with an aid of such neuroimaging methods as fMRI, EEG / MEG, etc.