Smithsonian.com had a very interesting article about whether a persons political beliefs are hardwired, learned, or both. I think the recent marathon thread/debate/discussion on healthcare could be a good example of people having differing opinions that may be hardwired into their brains as much as being an opinion based on information. The article can be read here.
The short answer is, what we are, is always an interaction between our genetic make-up and our environment, and that environment includes, of course, all cultural influences, individual traumas, family upbringing, quality of schooling, and, let's not forget, the environment in the womb before birth.
If a woman wishes to give her unborn child the best future as a concert pianist, then I believe it would be good advice to recommend she play lots piano works from Chopin and Listz , and lots of Beethoven piano sonatas on the home hi fi system. Her unborn baby will hear it, and such experiences will later influence the child, and later the adult's appreciation of classical music.
Perhaps the most graphic illustration that I've seen, of this problem of determining to what extent one's genes or one's upbringing are responsible for one's later choice of vocation, and one's talents and social attitudes, etc, was an educational TV program on the subject of psychopathic behaviour. (We have some very educational TV programs in Australia).
In brief, a neuroscientist was presented with some brain scans of psychopaths who had been convicted of some serious crimes. The project was to find out if psychopaths' brains were sort of 'hard-wired' in a particular way that resulted in a total lack of empathy and compassion for others.
The neuroscientist did in fact discover something quite remarkable. The images, MRI scans, of the pscyopaths' brains were in fact clearly different in fairly dramatic and obvious ways from MRI scans of so-called normal people. There was great excitement of a possible break-through in understanding psychopathic behaviour.
However, something even more remarkable was later observed. The neuroscientist doing the research was presented with an MRI scan of his own brain, which he (unwittingly) included with all the psychopaths' brain scans, not due to a mistake, but because his own brain scan resembled that of the psychopaths.
When he later learned that his own brain scan resembled that of a psychopath, he was of course rather disturbed, and began asking members of his family to tell him the truth. Had he appeared to them to be an odd or unusual sort of child, youth and man. They told him frankly, that he was and had been.
The conclusion is that hard-wiring along particular lines will always exert some influence on a person's behaviour and attitudes, but is not an inflexible determinant. The neuroscientist's upbringing and education was sufficient to largely counteract the socially negative influences of a particular type of hard-wiring that in others, with a deficient and troubled upbringing, might result in psychopathic behaviour.
Now what has this got to do with photography? Well, the words 'graphic', 'image' and 'scan' have been used.