Evidence suggests that exaggerated beta range local field potentials (LFP) in basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuits constitute an important biomarker for feedback for deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease patients, although the role of this phenomenon in triggering parkinsonian motor symptoms remains unclear. A useful model for probing the causal role of motor circuit LFP synchronization in motor dysfunction is the unilateral dopamine cell-lesioned rat, which shows dramatic motor deficits walking contralaterally to the lesion but can walk steadily ipsilaterally on a circular treadmill. Within hours after 6-OHDA injection, rats show marked deficits in ipsilateral walking with early loss of significant motor cortex (MCx) LFP peaks in the mid-gamma 41–45 Hz range in the lesioned hemisphere; both effects were reversed by dopamine agonist administration. Increases in MCx and substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNpr) coherence and LFP power in the 29–40 Hz range emerged more gradually over 7 days, although without further progression of walking deficits. Twice-daily chronic dopamine antagonist treatment induced rapid onset of catalepsy and also reduced MCx 41–45 Hz LFP activity at 1 h, with increases in MCx and SNpr 29–40 Hz power/coherence emerging over 7 days, as assessed during periods of walking before the morning treatments. Thus, increases in high beta power in these parkinsonian models emerge gradually and are not linearly correlated with motor deficits. Earlier changes in cortical circuits, reflected in the rapid decreases in MCx LFP mid-gamma LFP activity, may contribute to evolving plasticity supporting increased beta range synchronized activity in basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuits after loss of dopamine receptor stimulation.