Transient coherent neural oscillations, as indicated by local field potentials, are thought to underlie key perceptual and cognitive events. We report a transient, state-dependent 50 Hz oscillation recorded from electrodes placed in the striatum of awake, behaving rats. These coherent oscillations, which we term gamma(50), occurred in brief (150 ms) events co-incident with the initiation of movement. On navigation tasks, the animal's speed increased dramatically at the precise moment of the gamma(50) event. This synchronous oscillation may provide a key to understanding striatal function, as well as basal ganglia pathology, which often impairs the control of voluntary movements.