We studied the effect of cooling the striate cortex on parvocellular lateral geniculate nucleus (PLGN) neurons in awake monkeys. Cooling the striate cortex produced both facilitation and inhibition of the responses of all neurons, depending on the stimulus presented. Cooling the striate cortex also altered the temporal distribution of spikes in the responses of PLGN neurons. Shannon's information measure revealed that cooling the striate cortex reduced the average stimulus-related information transmitted by all PLGN neurons. The reduction in transmitted information was associated with both facilitation and inhibition of the response. Cooling the striate cortex reduced the amount of information transmitted about all of the stimulus parameters tested: pattern, luminance, spatial contrast, and sequential contrast. The effect of cooling was nearly the same for codes based on the number of spikes in the response as for codes based on their temporal distribution. The reduction in transmitted information occurred because the differences among the responses to different stimuli (signal separation) were reduced, not because the variability of the responses to individual stimuli (noise) was increased. We conclude that one function of corticogeniculate feedback is to improve the ability of PLGN neurons to discriminate among stimuli by enhancing the differences among their responses.