Successful avoidance of aversive outcomes is crucial for the survival of animals. Although accumulating evidence indicates that an indirect pathway in the basal ganglia is involved in aversive behavior, the ventral pallidum (VP), which is an important component of this pathway, has so far been implicated primarily in appetitive behavior. In this study, we used single-cell recordings and bicuculline (GABAA antagonist) injections to elucidate the role of VP both in the encoding of aversive context and in active avoidance. We found 2 populations of neurons that were preferentially activated by appetitive and aversive conditioned stimuli (CSs). In addition, VP showed appetitive and aversive outcome anticipatory activities. These activity patterns indicate that VP is involved in encoding and maintaining CS-induced aversive contextual information. Furthermore, the disturbance of VP activity by bicuculline injection increased the number of error trials in aversive trials. In particular, the subjects released the response bar prematurely, showed no response at all, or failed to avoid the aversive outcome. Overall, these results suggest that VP plays a central role in controlling CS-induced negative motivation to produce avoidance behavior.