The nictitating membrane response (NMR) of 15 rabbits was conditioned to light and white noise conditional stimuli (CSs) using a periorbital shock unconditional stimulus (US). Unilateral lesions of the inferior olive were then made. Lesions restricted to the medial parts of rostral dorsal accessory olive (DAO) and principal olive (PO) abolished conditioning and prevented subsequent acquisition on either side. Unconditional responses to the US were intact. Lesions in all other parts of the olive did not impair conditioning. The effective lesions were located in that part of the olive which supplies somatosensory information from the face to cerebellar lobule HVI. Lobule HVI is also essential for NMR conditioning. We suggest that this region of the inferior olive is part of a circuit which provides US information to the cerebellar cortex during NMR conditioning.