Both Animals and Humans belong to the same Mammalian Family: But the members of the same family totally differ from each other. Every human being in the family knows the differences pretty well. That’s fine; still the system of communication available to each among the family members merits a go through. Because, the system of communication available to the animals as well as to the humans is the most significant boundary wall which divides both the families from one another.
Animals have five sensory centres in their brain like what humans have in their nervous system. The nervous system of animals has its permanent nerve connections ingrained at the time of birth. So also is the case of humans. The permanent nerve connections in animals, however, seldom got complemented or supplemented by newly formed nerve connections after their birth to the extent of what human brain could achieve on that score.
Animals continue to live with the abilities which are established in their nervous system at the time of birth; they do breath; they have cardiovascular system working; they eat food to sustain life; they grow, engage in reproductive activities to propagate the generations; they do communicate with each other. And finally, they too perish as every human being does face.
Humans too have permanent nerve connections in their nervous system which are there at the time of birth: The permanent nerve connections provide the inborn abilities of breathing, cardiovascular functions and ingestion. Humans grow; they engage in reproductive activities as animals do. Humans do communicate with each other and finally they too perish as every animal species undergo.
All the inborn faculties are common for both the animals as well as the humans. But then, unlike the animals, human brain has the capability to form hundreds of new and temporary nerve connections after the birth. The new nerve connections called conditioned reflexes are formed on the basis of the interactions of the nervous system through the sensory centres, with the external environs. This has enabled humans to think creatively, to invent new horizons for lively hood and comforts. Besides, changes in environs also helped changes in bio-chemical ingredients in humans as generations passed by. Here comes the significance of the system of communication developed and made available to the human species.
The system of communication that enables either to convey information or to receive information is named as ‘signal system’. The signal system consists of two major categories. They are the First Signal System and the Second Signal System.
That process of the central nervous system which enables the organism to receive and to convey information through signs and symbols in the environment is called the First Signal System. The First Signal System is common for both the animals and the humans.
The signal system which is in the exclusive possession of the humans is called the Second Signal System. The second signal system through which information is gathered or information is conveyed is confined to words. They may be words muttered, or words spoken or words that are written. In the Second Signal System information is transmitted through the medium of language which is the custodian words. The Second Signal System is the core of all what have made human beings as humans. But for the Second Signal System, the Human Species would have remained at the level of animals in the path of intellectual transformation.
The development of language, the Second Signal System, takes place in consonance with the formation of new nerve connections after the birth. This is attributed to the complexity of the nervous action, the complexity achieved during the course of evolution.
The major difference between animals and humans lies in the Second Signal System. Human brain is the sole custodian of Second Signal System: Second Signal System eluded the whole set of living organisms and it stood firm in its exclusive preference for humans.
During the big and tiresome journey inside the vehicle of evolution, the animal world remained where it was in the beginning. But when the vehicle went ahead leaving the animals where they were, the humans acquired the means of communication of the Second Signal System. There thus started all the intellectual innovations, the innovations those are only of the human race. There stands straight the difference between animals and humans that matters the most.