No matter how many times I see videos like this, I get a little freaked out.
Brain surgery is, well, brain surgery. Your skull is drilled open and someone roots around in the squishy bits trying to repair a gelatinous hunk of neurons. But because everyone’s brain is different, the surgeon isn’t entirely sure what neurons are where. An errant probe could do anything from wipe out memories to destroy the ability to speak. Or worse.
In the case of this sax player, the focus of the operation was an area of the brain associated with his music-playing abilities. A wrong poke could prove to be disastrous. The only way the surgeon could know if he was in the wrong place was to have the patient play the sax as he delicately removed all traces of a tumor. As long as he was playing, the surgeon knew things were all right. (Via Holy Kaw)