The rhombencephalon (or hindbrain) is a developmental categorization of portions of the central nervous system in vertebrates. It includes the medulla, pons, and cerebellum.
The rhombencephalon can be subdivided in a variable number of transversal swellings called rhombomeres. In the human embryo eight rhombomeres can be distinguished, from caudal to rostral: Rh8-Rh1. Rostrally, the isthmus demarcates the boundary with the midbrain or mesencephalon.
A rare disease of the rhombencephalon, "rhombencephalosynapsis," is characterized by a missing vermis resulting in a fused cerebellum. Patients generally present with cerebellar ataxia.
The caudal rhombencephalon has been generally considered as the initiation site for neural tube closure.