The present study examined whether complete bilateral destruction of auditory cortex would interfere with auditory fear conditioning in rats. Complete destruction of auditory cortex required lesions of temporal neocortical and perirhinal periallocortical areas. Fear conditioning was assessed by measuring freezing and arterial pressure responses elicited by an acoustic stimulus after pairing with footshock. Animals with complete bilateral lesions of auditory cortex showed conditioned arterial pressure and freezing responses comparable to those of unoperated controls. In contrast, bilateral destruction of the acoustic thalamus interfered with the conditioning of both responses. These results demonstrate that the auditory cortex is not required for the conditioning of fear responses to simple acoustic stimuli and add to the growing body of evidence that fear conditioning can be mediated by subcortical (amygdaloid) projections of the acoustic thalamus.