What is called the second signaling system of reality?

The second signaling system, inherent only to man is a system of conditioned reflex connections. It is formed in the higher parts of the central nervous system and works on the basis of the first signaling system. The second signaling system is activated when exposed to speech stimuli. The second signaling system is a qualitatively special form of higher nervous activity – a system of speech signals (pronounced, audible and visible). The concept put forward by I.P Pavlov to determine the fundamental differences in the work of the brain of animals and humans. A person also has the ability to summarize the word countless signals of the first signal system; the word, in the words of I.P. Pavlov, becomes a signal of signals. The analysis and synthesis carried out by the cerebral cortex, in connection with the presence of the second signaling system, concerns not only individual specific stimuli, but also their generalizations presented in words.
Unlike conditioned reflexes of animals, reflecting the surrounding reality with the help of specific auditory, visual and other sensory signals, stimuli of the second signaling system reflect the surrounding reality using generalizing, abstracting concepts expressed in words. While animals operate only with images formed on the basis of directly perceived signal stimuli, a person with his developed second signal system operates not only with images, but also with thoughts associated with them, meaningful images containing semantic (semantic) information. The irritants of the second signaling system are largely mediated by the mental activity of man.

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