Producing accurate movements may rely on the functional independence of sensorimotor circuits within basal ganglia nuclei. In parkinsonism there is abnormal synchrony of electrical activity within these circuits that results in a loss of independence across motor channels. Local field potential (LFP) recordings reflect the summation of local electrical fields and an increase in LFP power reflects increased synchrony in local neuronal networks. We recorded LFPs from the subthalamic nucleus (STN) deep brain stimulation (DBS) lead in the operating room in 22 cases from 16 subjects with Parkinson's disease (PD) who were off medication. There was elevated LFP power at beta frequencies (13-35 Hz) at rest. The LFP spectral profile was consistent across several periods of rest that were separated by movement and/or DBS, and appeared to be a relatively stationary phenomenon. The spectral profile and frequencies of the beta-band peak(s) varied among subjects but were similar between the right and left STNs within certain individuals. These results suggest that the LFP spectrum at rest may characterize a "signature" rhythm for an individual with PD. Beta-band power was attenuated after intra-operative STN DBS (p<0.05). The attenuation lasted for 10 s after short periods (30 s) and for up to 50 s after longer periods (5 min) of DBS. The finding that longer periods of DBS attenuated beta power for a longer time suggests that there may be long-acting functional changes to networks in the STN in PD after chronic DBS.