The John Hopkins University School of Medicine has been leading the renaissance in psychedelic drug research since the early 2000s, particularly in the study of psilocybin, the active ingredient in "magic mushrooms," and its relationship to mystical experience. The most recent study by Roland R. Griffiths, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, has produced more head-turning results, with 57% of participants reporting "transcendent, mystical experiences," which resulted in an increase in "openess," one of the five key domains of personality, according to WebMD. (The others are neuroticism, extroversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness).
Fascinatingly, openess affects creativity, as well as the ability to appreciate beauty and empathize with others. According to Griffiths, this aspect of the personality is often in decline by the age of 30 and is usually only rekindled after major life transforming events, such as marriage, divorce or getting fired:
“Personality, after the age of 25, is relatively stable, and if anything happens, openness decreases across decades, just very slightly, but generally people become more rigid and less creative, and [psilocybin] is showing an anti-aging affect if you will, on openness.”