Abstract In this paper, we propose a new class of cellular automata based on the modification of its state space. It is introduced to model a computation which is exposed to an environment. We formalized the computation as extension and projection processes of its state space and resulting misidentifications of the state. This is motivated to embed the role of an environment into the system itself, which naturally induces self-organized internal perturbations rather than the usual external perturbations. Implementing this structure into the elementary cellular automata, we characterized its effect by means of input entropy and power spectral analysis. As a result, the cellular automata with this structure showed robust class IV behavior and a 1/ f power spectrum in a wide range of rule space comparative to the notion of the edge of chaos.